Chelsea needs to recuperate

Filed under Premier League

Antonio Conte

Losing another trophy to Arsenal within three months in the same ground was something Antonio Conte did not prepare for. The Italian manager did not look pleased as he watched his team being defeated in the Community Shield at the Wembley Stadium.

The performance of the Chelsea team looked very different than the team that won the Premier League convincingly in May. With just a week before the Premier League starts, their body language did not show confidence, and the team as a whole did not look ready to defend their league title.

Antonio Conte had emphasized the need to bring in more players. Even though they have signed four new players this summer, he still reiterated it in his post-match interview after their defeat to Arsenal.

The Blues boss has been frustrated with the Chelsea activities in the transfer market this summer.  They have missed out on their top targets with Romelu Lukaku and Danilo to Manchester United and Manchester City, respectively. Meanwhile Nemanja Matic has been sold to one of their rivals, Man United, and Diego Costa has been told he has no future at the club. These are both key players, instrumental to their winning the league title last season.

The club-record signing of Alvaro Morata may not do much as he does not look like he is ready for the Premier League challenge, with his lackluster performance in the Community Shield. Although he needs time to adjust, he has not really convinced his manager.

Conte needs flexibility with his 3-4-3 formation. When he switched this formation last season, it won them a long streak of matches, but opposing teams were able to counter them well towards the end of the season.

Maintaining their three-man defence, they should be able to shift from 3-4-3 to 3-5-2, and to achieve that they need one more player upfront and another defensive midfielder following the sale of Nemanja Matic.

And summer signing Tiemoue Bakayoko might miss the first few games of the league following a knee injury he sustained while playing for Monaco last season.

With the Champions League also under their belt this season, the squad rotation is now inevitable. Conte wants to sign a center-back and two wing-backs. He is interested in Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk, Arsenal winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Everton’s Ross Barkley.

Chelsea begin their title defence with the match against Burnley at Stamford Bridge, but they could be in for a sorry state at the end of the season if they don’t make some changes.

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